Dear brothers and sisters! Greetings from Jerusalem!
Recently during Tisha B'Av we discussed the reason why the First Temple and the Second Temple were destroyed. The Lord gives the reason in the Bible:
“Because they have done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day” (2 Kings 21:15).
Since the time of Israel’s exodus from Egypt, there have passed hundreds of years, during which most of the people of Israel failed to keep God's commandments. The last king of Judea, Zedekiah, threw the prophet Jeremiah into a dungeon and a hole with sewage because Jeremiah tried to persuade him to hand over Jerusalem to the Babylon king peacefully. As a result, the Temple has been destroyed and Jews are expelled from the earth in the Babylon captivity. The second Temple has also been destroyed for the fact that the people of Israel have rejected the true God - Jesus Christ. Since then, for two thousand years, Israel rejects the present the Messiah and at the same time considers itself to be the saved and righteous people.
Recently two women have come to my Friday excursion. Both of them are from Georgia. The first woman by the name of Hanna lives in Jerusalem and strictly observes the Jewish traditions. The second woman is Hanna's girlfriend, an orthodox Christian who has arrived on a visit. We visited the Garden Tomb, where Hanna listened carefully to my story about sacrificial death and Christ's resurrection. Everything was good until I quoted Jesus' words: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Hanna was indignant and began to shout in Hebrew: "Lo nahon, lo nahon!" ("It is a lie, it is a lie!") I explained to Hanna: "We believe in the absolute truth of God's Word. I hope you will be among the remnant of the people of Israel which will call Jesus the Messiah." I believe that this meeting was not in vain, and I hope that Hanna’s eyes and heart will be opened to accept the good news in Jesus Christ.
In Jerusalem we had had a joyful event. A woman by the name of Svetlana lives in a hostel for pensioners and for four years has attended my Bible studies. Last year she confessed and recognized Christ as the Lord. Now she has carried out Christ's command about baptism. We went to the river Jordan to baptize her. Praise to the Lord! Then we visited the observation deck from where there are remarkable views of Jericho and the mountain of the temptation of Christ.
I thank you for your prayers and material support. May our Lord bless you and keep you!